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Cruise Ratings
1,047
146
68
74
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Loved this idea of spending our 25th anniversary in Europe. All went well-great staff, good food, nice ports, but wished there was more free time and fewer ports to visit. Had to get up pretty early for the free excursions, which are ... Read More
Loved this idea of spending our 25th anniversary in Europe. All went well-great staff, good food, nice ports, but wished there was more free time and fewer ports to visit. Had to get up pretty early for the free excursions, which are largely church/history oriented, if you're into that sort of thing. Would have preferred more intimate excursions (for free) instead of 50-60 people ushered around already popular destinations. If you are a history buff, and like lectures, etc. This is for you. The passengers are largely 60+, and highly educated. A few wheelchairs also, although Europe is tough for them with all the cobblestones and hills. I really prefer Gate 1 for this sort of thing. More free time, less expensive, and a smaller group. You're not tempted into gluttony as much. Food was good, but not as good as some of the finer meals I've enjoyed in major cities. If there were more shore excursions catering to intimate experiences, that would be better-like seeing a cobbler make shoes. Since the cruise is so pricey, these should be included without an extra charge. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This is not a first cruise for anyone. It's a cruise for people who've seen a lot, and want more. The "river" between St. Petersburg and Moscow is a combination of lakes, rivers, and canals. Near St. P, it's mostly uninhabited ... Read More
This is not a first cruise for anyone. It's a cruise for people who've seen a lot, and want more. The "river" between St. Petersburg and Moscow is a combination of lakes, rivers, and canals. Near St. P, it's mostly uninhabited area. Near Moscow, it's more inhabited. Of the 5 stops on the "river," only two (Yaroslavl and Uglich) are real towns. Kizhi is fabulous, as a recreated ancient community. Mandrogy is an artisan village, and fun (and expensive if you shop), but for tourists. The monastery stop was interesting, but due to fog, we were shepherded past any vendors and didn't see a real town. St. Petersburg and Moscow were fabulous - and exhausting! You walk your feet off. It's worth it, but just be warned. The worst crush was The Hermitage in St. Petersburg - and I was there in a shoulder season! But the fabulous art is incredible and not to be missed. As are any of the St. Petersburg tours, and definitely Moscow by Night. The Kremlin (included) tour was very good, but I wish I'd done the optional tour that included the carriages, jewels, dresses, etc. We saw St. Basil's in the afternoon, which will NOT get you good pictures. You need to be there in the morning. Best souvenirs: Uglich. We skipped the tour and just shopped for 3 1/2 hours. Do not try to buy souvenirs in Moscow; for some reason, they are scarce and expensive. At the St. Petersburg port, there is a souvenir shop, which is better than nothing. Do not bring rubles; banks charge too much. I got rubles 4 times at ATM's, with a charge of $1 each withdrawal, and the best rates. Dollars are almost universally accepted, too. Though outside of vendors, very few people speak English. On the ship, we were coddled by the staff. In the dining room, Jeremiah, Mikey and Dino took fabulous care of us, including telling us to wait til Uglich to shop. In the bar, Dasha and Egor were attentive and helpful. Sasha (from Russia) was a terrific tour director. Andrey was a terrific tour guide. Daniel was the M'd with a sense of humor! Don't miss the pelmini cooking demo, or the vodka tasting! Russia has changed incredibly in the past couple of decades. Not a complete capitalist country, but growing so! The people were warm and friendly (they want our dollars). If you go, you'll love it. I wish you good cheer! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second Viking and it met the high standards of the first one. The service was excellent. The food continues to be superb and the staff are the best. Like one big family. The shore excursions were just the right length ... Read More
This was our second Viking and it met the high standards of the first one. The service was excellent. The food continues to be superb and the staff are the best. Like one big family. The shore excursions were just the right length and time. Being a short cruise little time was actually spent looking at the countryside as most movement was at night. The director was fabulously entertaining as were the wait staff. They all seemed to love their job, especially those that had worked on other cruise lines. They said Viking was the best. My one negative was when they were presenting the opportunity to buy travel certificates for future travel. It was not made clear that only 1 per person can be used per cruise. We did the Paris extension and very impressed with the care we were given from the ship through to checking in at the airport. Viking staff members were with us every single step of the way. The Paris hotel was fine and within walking distance of many fine restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise quite by accident because some friends were already booked and we decided to tag along. We could not have been luckier. We ended up with the last room on the boat, suite 308 - which we loved! The ship is constantly ... Read More
We chose this cruise quite by accident because some friends were already booked and we decided to tag along. We could not have been luckier. We ended up with the last room on the boat, suite 308 - which we loved! The ship is constantly being cleaned, we never had a dirty window. The crew was young and friendly and from a variety of countries through Europe and abroad. We loved the diversity. With the suite you also get free laundry service - which sounds silly - but it was the icing on the cake for me! The space in our room and the additional light was wonderful. I never felt closed in. Our cruise director was Gary and he was incredibly organized, everything went off without a hitch. He made it very clear that the excursions leave on time and don't be late. I appreciated that. Each excursion was wonderful. The daily talks from Gary on what to expect the next day were very helpful. The food was pretty good. Loved breakfast - lunch was only so/so and dinner was sometimes fantastic and sometimes missed the mark. But we weren't there for the food, we were there for the itinerary - which did not disappoint. Each small village after another was unique and wonderful. The bigger cities were also interesting and charming. Loved it - can't wait to go back - I would do the same trip again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the ... Read More
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the accommodations were fine. The crew really made all efforts to ensure that we were served well, and our program director was awesome! The program director was very knowledgeable and helpful. The food was great but there was so much! Many times we ate in the lounge for a light meal instead of eating in the dining area. We liked this option. Even more impressive was that I learned that Viking is a privately held company. It is apparent that the owners take very good care of their employees. They have a philosophy that a happy crew promotes a happy customer. You have to respect that! It works! We will definitely travel again on Viking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We took this cruise to attack our "bucket list" and found it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. Not only did we tour some of the most evocative sights in France, but we were treated exceptionally well by ... Read More
We took this cruise to attack our "bucket list" and found it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. Not only did we tour some of the most evocative sights in France, but we were treated exceptionally well by arguably the most capable and entertaining crew imaginable. They truly made this cruise one for the books! The cruise director, chef, and other staff made the port briefings and subsequent evening dining a highlight and not merely the dissemination of information and provision of outstanding menu items. This is our third Viking cruise, and while they all have their own personalities, it is the interaction of the crew that will provided us with some of our more endearing memories. The excursions were exceptional as well, again because the staff worked so well together. Throw together iconic land destinations and the capabilities of the staff and you have an unbeatable combination. We'll see Viking again soon! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We wanted to experience a more intimate, friendly cruise experience. We have grown tired of the big, mega ships with thousands of passengers. The meals were of top quality and a highlight of each evening. The ship staff were always ... Read More
We wanted to experience a more intimate, friendly cruise experience. We have grown tired of the big, mega ships with thousands of passengers. The meals were of top quality and a highlight of each evening. The ship staff were always polite and willing to help with any question s we had. The excursions were right on. They were long enough so we could enjoy the locale that we were visiting and still gave us time to unwind before dinner on the ship. In general, everything went well. All the events and excursions were well planned and went off without a hitch. GREAT TRIP. We enjoyed the experience so much that we have already booked another river cruise for next summer. Both of our fathers served in Europe during the second world war and we wanted to partially retrace their footsteps throughout France and Germany. Again a very good trip. Worth every penney. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Price & itinerary and our availability to travel with our good friends. Also, have cruised with Viking before and knew of the high standard. This was our 3rd cruise with the same friends and really enjoyed it. The weather was very ... Read More
Price & itinerary and our availability to travel with our good friends. Also, have cruised with Viking before and knew of the high standard. This was our 3rd cruise with the same friends and really enjoyed it. The weather was very hot but that is something that Viking cannot control. Crew was very solicitous about offering bottles of water each time we embarked or disembarked the ship. Tour guides tried to keep us in the shade on tours as much as possible. We enjoyed all the various tours of wineries and wine tastings. Also the visits to chateaux. We loved the surprise lunch at Chateau Siaurac hosted by the ship's chef and entire wait staff. The crew, down to the last one, were courteous, helpful, professional and friendly. Our cabin steward, Helen, always greeted us with a big smile and always asked if we needed anything. She is a tremendous asset to Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
This is the first river cruise we have ever experienced - a bit of a risk since it was to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We neither of us liked the prospect of an ocean cruise and thought this might be a good alternative. We set off ... Read More
This is the first river cruise we have ever experienced - a bit of a risk since it was to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We neither of us liked the prospect of an ocean cruise and thought this might be a good alternative. We set off with no clear expectations. We need not have worried. Our programme director, Kieran, was excellent. Very funny, knowledgeable and customer oriented. The Viking Beyla is a lovely ship with a truly wonderful, hardworking and dedicated crew, and our excursions were very enjoyable with some first class guides. The ship is small and so, of course, was our stateroom but there was a place for everything and it was very comfortable. Food on the ship was plentiful and of high quality. The ship is well appointed with many quiet corners if you are in need of some peace. The entire crew was first rate and nothing was too much trouble for them. They worked tirelessly to ensure an excellent experience. Our only disappointment was the trip to Meissen. Due to our dates, we were there on a Sunday so after the trip to the porcelain factory there was nothing to do in Meissen itself if you did not want to do the guided tour as the shops were all closed It's a very small town so there is little to see and it was raining - hey ho! Given the size of the ship, there was no gym, fitness area or spa so we have only listed this element as average. The sundeck did have a little games area - quoits perhaps and one other. There were plenty of seats and umbrellas to accommodate all on board. There was a very small library opposite the reception area. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and faultless. Given the very hot weather in Europe, the Elbe was very low and we were therefore unable to embark from the intended first point and had to coach to Ban Schandau - a bit of a long journey from Prague but otherwise fine. The Captain used his knowledge of the river and contacts along the way to 'have a wave sent down to us from Decin' - yes, you read that correctly! The wave duly arrived which gave the Elbe enough depth to enable the rest of our journey. The hotels used in Prague and Berlin were the Hilton. They are rated 5*. The one in Prague was fine but we were disappointed in the Berlin Hilton. Whilst its location is excellent - right on the Gendarmemarkt and therefore an easy walk to Check Point Charlie, the Branderburg Gate and other sites - we found some of the staff quite arrogant and they charged for bottle water in the room (that did not happen in Prague). Apparently, charging for water is the norm in German hotels but this is an international chain and their standards should be the same, whatever the country. We felt the Hiltons are not to the standard they once were. So, in sum, this was a highly memorable holiday and we would certainly recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
We had taken 4 Viking River cruises previously, but we had never been to Russia. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Russia, and learning about the history of that country. We especially enjoyed the concerts and dance performances, and the ... Read More
We had taken 4 Viking River cruises previously, but we had never been to Russia. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Russia, and learning about the history of that country. We especially enjoyed the concerts and dance performances, and the on-board seminars about the history of the country and the present life in Russia. We also enjoyed the on-board entertainment very much, especially the opera singers from the Marinsky Theater. As always, the food selection at the buffets was very extensive, and complemented the menu listings. The food was well prepared and we were happy to see some Russian foods listed on the menu, and also available on the breakfast and lunch buffets. We enjoyed all of the included and optional excursions that we took. We were really enthralled with the performance of "Swan Lake" at the Hermitage. That is a show that is not to be missed. We were happy to see that in addition to the walking tours of cities, a "Panoramic" bus tour was also available, for those of us who need a more leisurely sightseeing adventure. Read Less
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